The previous lesson noted that Proverbs is a book that makes a pronounced difference between two kinds of people and two walks of life: the foolish and the wise. Proverbs 1:7 contains the keynote of the book, “The fear of the Lord” and underscores the fundamental division between the wise man and the fool. One fears the Lord while the other despises wisdom and instruction. One is walking in God’s creation with a view toward God’s instruction. The fool, however, lives in a world which he did not create and in which he cannot control, yet he rages on in self-confidence governed by a delusional belief that he is fully capable to charter his own course in life without any belief of God much less without any instruction from God. One boasts in God’s wisdom while the other is wise in his own eyes.
Proverbs chapter two extends the application of “the fear of the Lord.” It answers, “How and where wisdom ought to be deposited.” The storehouse of wisdom is the heart. Although God “stores up sound wisdom for the upright,” one must reach out and take these things into the heart. Recall: “When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul…” (2:10).
From Proverbs 2:1-5, describe the drive and demeanor one must have to discover and store up wisdom in the heart. Write down all the action words.
Like life in general, one of the ways Proverbs teaches is by consequences. Notice the “If you” (2:1, 4) and “then you” (2:5). As you read Proverbs, look for teachings that are designed as consequences. Identify the consequences in these Proverbs:
- Proverbs 2:10-12. What are the consequences of “When wisdom enters your heart and knowledge is pleasant to your soul”?
- Proverbs 26:27.
- Proverbs 16:3.
Another way Proverbs teaches is through parallelism. Synonymous and contrasting parallelism are both found in our text. A synonymous form is found in 2:21.
The upright will dwell in the land à the blameless will remain in it.
These are two different expressions saying the same thing. Again notice 2:22 where:
The wicked will be cut off from the earth à the unfaithful will be uprooted.
Yet combining both of these constitute a form of contrasting parallelism from the upright to the wicked and from the blameless to the unfaithful. The wicked are not upright and the unfaithful are never blameless!
Practical Self Applications:
- Have I cried out for wisdom (Prov. 2:3; Jas. 1:5)?
- Do I listen to wisdom’s cries (Prov. 1:21)?
For this new month, consider deeply the things of Proverbs 2. The value of the teaching of Proverbs is very apparent in this second chapter through its practical application of steering clear of the human snares designed by evil men and women.
You could divide the chapter up into three sections:
- What attitudes are needed to gain a heart of wisdom (2:1-5)?
- Identifying the source for wisdom (2:6, 7).
- Recognizing the blessings from storing up wisdom (2:8-22).
—Steven J. Wallace